St. John Island Resorts - Our History

St John Island Resorts - History

The earliest inhabitants on St. John have been dates as far back as 770BC, but little is known of their life or existence. They were Amerindians, likely from South America. Early Amerindians to later day Tainos – all visited or inhabited the island at some time in its early history but were apparently gone prior to European arrival. Archaeological sites are currently under investigation to learn more about our early history. Visitors can learn more at the VI National Park center in Cruz Bay and visit early petroglyphs on the Reef Bay Hike. 


In 1493, after stopping briefly on the island of St. Croix, Columbus sailed past the island, claiming seemingly uninhabited St. John and its neighbors Las Islas Virgenes (The Virgin Islands).  For the next two hundred years, St. John was sparsely and occasionally inhabited by Amerindians, refugees, and recluses and very little history is known.  


In 1718, the Danish took formal possession of St. John and established their first outpost in Coral Bay. The settlement quickly followed. The Slave Revolt of 1733 is infamous, marking the beginning of the end of slavery. That freedom is commemorated by the Emancipation Statue in xx Powell (Cruz Bay) Park.  In1917, the finally purchased the Virgin Islands but citizenship was not given to its inhabitants until 1927. 


Since Laurence Rockefeller purchased 2/3rds of St. John's 22 acres in the 1950's and she was proclaimed a National Park, the beautiful white sandy beaches, green mountains and turquoise waters have been known to travelers as a true paradise.  It was written in a Catalogue of the West Indies,  published in 1959, that the common cold was non-existent on St. John. Sadly, the outside world soon changed that as tourism began in earnest. 


The VI Legislature was created in 1968, allowing the islands to elect their own government and Governor and begin the long process of directing their own future.  As of 2009, a Territorial Constitution for the islands remains non-existent but has been developed in draft form. 


The VI National Park maintains St. John's natural beauty and peacefulness, providing visitors with a relaxing experience in this U. S. territory. Many travelers who have visited other tropical locations, return again and again to our beautiful and charming island for its pristine and unspoiled ambiance.